Outdoor learning in our forest school area
We are currently developing an outdoor learning site across the road from the school. We have cleared the area, built a mud kitchen and are now focusing on a shelter to be used as an outside classroom.
We are also planning to have a storytelling area with a willow weaved shelter, hammocks to read and tell stories, a wild life area with wild flowers to attract insects, a bug hotel and bird table, a sensory garden, willow weaving arches for playing.
The children will help develop the site so they take real ownership of it. Once the shelter is complete, teachers will be able to use this as an outdoor classroom to teach their classes across all the areas of the curriculum. This includes obvious subjects such as science and nature, but also maths, art, poetry, storytelling, history etc. Being outdoors also supports children’s personal, social, emotional and team working skills. Children enjoy being outdoors; therefore it will enrich their learning experiences and make it more fun and memorable.
There are larger plans for the future to develop all the outside spaces at St Columb Major Academy. Children will have inviting and meaningful spaces to play at break times and learn outdoors during lessons.
Children at St Columb Major Academy have the opportunity to participate in Forest School with our fully trained Forest School Leader.
The children work in smaller groups outdoors to develop their confidence and social skills. The Forest School Leader links activities to the learning that is happening in the classroom. They enjoy wood craft, fire lighting and cooking and develop an understanding and respect for the environment.
Staff at St Columb Major Academy are carrying out regular training so they are confident to teach a range of subjects outdoors. We have been lucky to have experienced outdoor leaders from The Eden Project to inspire our staff with activities and ideas to weave into their curriculum. Teachers will be delivering the curriculum outdoors at least once a week and gaining confidence in teaching in this environment.